June 16, 2021

Mellon Grant Helps UT Austin Scholars Preserve and Promote Audiovisual Heritage

From UT News:

A team led by Tanya Clement, associate professor of English at The University of Texas at Austin, plans to create greater access to audiovisual collections thanks to a $450,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that will support the team’s AudiAnnotate Audiovisual Extensible Workflow (AWE) project. The goal of the AWE project is to accelerate access to, promote scholarship and teaching with, and extend understanding of significant digital audiovisual collections in the humanities.

“Basically, we’re making it easier to annotate AV materials and share those annotations online. Annotating has been the basis for creating access to cultural objects since monks included commentary on medieval manuscripts,” Clement said. “For example, in this 1939 Library of Congress recording I’ve annotated where Zora Neale Hurston is speaking. Without my notes, you wouldn’t know where on this hour-long recording to find her voice. The ability to annotate lets us add personal and historical context so people understand what AV contains and why it is important.”

She said the grant from The Mellon Foundation, facilitated through its Public Knowledge program, will help the AWE team — which also includes Brumfield Labs in Austin and information management consulting and software company AVP — develop a workflow of free, user-friendly open-source tools for creating and sharing audiovisual projects.

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Clement says the grant will allow the AudiAnnotate project to engage the work of UT’s interdisciplinary Good Systems project, which promotes the development of ethical artificial intelligence and machine learning tools, and it will build on her previous work with the High Performance Sound Technologies for Access and Scholarship, AVP’s Aviary software, and the AudiAnnotate tool.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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